Gary D. Slavens a lifelong Cortez resident and 3rd generation business owner passed away on Friday, May 21, 2021 in Cortez.
Gary was born on July 2, 1949 to Dale and Elaine Slavens. He was welcomed home by his older brother Leslie.
Gary attended school in Cortez and graduated from MCHS in 1967. He then attended CU in Boulder for one year. In 1968 Gary joined the Navy Sea Bees on the buddy plan with Gary Donahoo. They were stationed in Gulfport, Mississippi. Gary returned home and married his sweetheart Nova Sanders in December of 1969. They moved to Mississippi and Gary finished his service with the Navy and was honorably discharged in 1970. Gary and Nova retuned to Cortez and started their life together. In 1976 their daughter Stacy was born.
Gary started working at Slavens True Value sweeping floors after school when he was in grade school. At that time his grandfather, Basil Slavens owned the store. Gary continued to work at the store and learned all aspects of the business along with his parents and brother until he eventually became the owner and continued this position until his death.
Gary was always involved with the community and served on the Chamber of Commerce, The Colorado Work Force program, Sheltered Workshop, and the Cortez Volunteer Fire Department. He also was an active member of the Ski High ski club at Stoner ski area where he served on the ski patrol, as a ski instructor and was president of the club.
Gary was always athletic and loved the outdoors. He snow skied, water skied, played softball, rode dirt bikes, hunted elk and fished all in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado with his close friends and family. His favorite hobby was spending time with his grandson, Kenyon.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Dale and Elaine; his brother, Leslie; his precious granddaughter, Khole; his nephew, Christopher Slavens; his brother-in-law, Lynn Sanders; and his sister-in-law, Cherol Acree.
Gary leaves behind his wife of 51 years, Nova of Cortez; his daughter, Stacy Wilson of Cortez; his grandson, Kenyon Wilson of Grand Junction, CO; his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Ricky and Murna Hinton of Cortez; his sister in law, Cheryl Sanders of Cortez, his sister in law, Sandy Slavens of Cortez; his aunt, Daisy May Black of Cortez; his brother-in-law, David Sanders of Orchard Mesa, CO; his uncle, Dave and aunt, Lil Cash of Fort Collins, CO; along with cousins and many nieces and nephews.
Gary will be greatly missed by all of his family, his many friends and members of the Cortez community.
Gary was a quiet and gentle soul.
Services are being handled by Ertel Funeral Home. The service is scheduled for Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at the funeral home. Burial to follow at Summit Ridge Cemetery and a Celebration of Life 1:30 to 4 at the Southern Bluff Clubhouse. 801 Bluff Blvd. (7th Street & Madison Street.)
Published in The Journal on May 24, 2021.